I knew when I started going through the book of Romans, I’d encounter some tough issues to address. But if God included it in His Book, He wanted us to know it. So here we are. The words in the middle of this verse—“there is no authority except from God”—kind of draws us up short when we’re in conflict with the authority. Let’s be honest—our personal choice for governmental positions isn’t always the one voted in. So what’s our responsibility as Christ-followers? In a nutshell, we should reflect Christ in the way we interact with politics and government. Submitting to governmental authorities shows that we are in submission to God’s authority. Verse 2 reminds us that those who resist authority are acting in opposition to God’s command. Acting in opposition to God always brings judgment upon the opposer.
Now, there is a strong example in the Bible when Christ-followers acted in opposition to the government. Remember when the apostles were arrested and told to stop preaching in the name of Jesus? They gave this response: “We must obey God rather than human beings (Acts 18:29 NIV).” If the government orders its citizens to act in direct opposition to God’s commands (for example, governments that have outlawed Christianity), then we must obey God first. That isn’t a loophole, though, to disobey whichever laws don’t suit us or ignore whatever leader we don’t personally care for. *wink* We are to be in obedience to the governing authorities as long as the obedience doesn’t cause us to sin against God.